August 13, 2009
Indian Harbor is a private placement firm based in Greenwich, CT that has been performing ongoing customer service functions for hedge funds for over 15 years. Like most of our competitors, we are registered as a broker-dealer and have been very diligent in following the rules and regulations outlined in the Investors Advisors Act and elsewhere. We employ ten individuals and enjoy a successful operation.
Given current events, it is understandable that the SEC has a concern over unlawful or unethical business practices that a few private placement organizations have seen fit to follow. While we appreciate these concerns, the proposed rule, which would prevent law-abiding firms like ours from marketing to public pension plans, is excessive and unfair. For years, firms like Indian Harbor have helped public pension plans with the often difficult and complex task of investing in suitable alternative vehicles - investments that have enabled the pensions to meet the demanding actuarial requirements of their plans. The proposed rule eliminates a proven and reliable resource from the plan trustees' arsenal. More specifically, plan trustees will be cut-off from valuable deal flow which will impair their ability to adequately diversify their portfolio. In addition, it will cause placement firms to lay-off countless employees as they watch they business shrink for no reason other than over-reaching legislation.
There are ample laws and regulation already in place to protect investors, and we would welcome greater enforcement of these laws. You may also consider imposing on placement firms additional registration or reporting requirements, which are designed to unmask unethical or unlawful practices. In any event, the answer should not be to destroy the legitimate businesses of placement firms - the very people you seek to protect, the pension plan participants, will be the biggest losers if you do.
We respectfully ask the Staff to reconsider the proposed rule with these concerns in mind.
Very Truly Yours,
Robert W. Stone